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Episode 181 – Redefining Retirement

“People that don’t get involved in something, they die, and they die quick.” ~Dr. Bruce B. Baird
In this episode of the Productive Dentist Podcast, host Dr. Bruce B. Baird takes listeners on a journey into retirement, as he reflects on his 42 years in the operatory and contemplates his transition from a bustling dental practice to life after retirement.
Dr. Baird shares candid insights into the joys and challenges of post-retirement life, and he lets listeners in on some surprising discoveries he has made, like the realization that the days tend to blend together when you aren’t tied to a schedule, and that just because you’re retired, it doesn’t mean you get to play endless rounds of golf. Dr. Baird discusses the various interests he’s involved himself in such as local politics, spending time with family, and planning epic international adventures with his family.
If you’re ready to hang up the handpiece, or if you’ve ever thought about life after retirement, this episode is chock full of the information, wisdom, and inspiration you might be looking for. You can make the most of your retirement, discover new passions, and stay active, while you savor the sweet moments of life.
As you listen to this episode, think about the following:
  • What are your plans for the future once you have retired?
  • What interests will keep you involved and interested following your dental career?
  • What will it take for you to retire the way you want, and what resources can help you get there?


Regan 0:00
Hi, Doctor. Regan Robertson, CCO of Productive Dentist Academy here and I have a question for you. Are you finding it hard to get your team aligned to your vision, but you know, you deserve growth just like everybody else? That’s why we’ve created the PDA productivity workshop. For nearly 20 years, PDA workshops have helped dentists just like you align their teams, get control of scheduling, and create productive practices that they love walking into every day. Just imagine how you will feel when you know your schedule is productive, your systems are humming, and your team is aligned to your vision. It’s simple, but it’s not necessarily easy. We can help, visit that’s to secure your seats now.

Dr. Bruce Baird 0:46
95% of the dentists out there are not going to retire and be able to maintain their current lifestyle, which is kind of sad. Hello, everyone. This is Dr. Bruce B. Baird and you’re listening to the Productive Dentist Podcast in this podcast I will give you everything that I’ve learned over the last 40 years in dentistry working with 1000s of dentists. I’ll tell you it’s not that my way is the only way, it’s just one that has worked extremely well for me and I’d love to share that with you. So you too can enjoy the choices and lifestyle the productivity allows, more time for things you love, increased pay, better team relationships, and lowered stress. Let’s get into it with this week’s episode of the Productive Dentist Podcast.

This is Dr. Bruce Baird with the Productive Dentist podcast and welcome to a new new topic today. I had another listener send me a message and he said, “Describe life after retirement,” and I thought, “Wow, that’s a good one,” because my wife will tell you I’m not retired because I’m still doing so many other projects like Productive Dentist Academy and the podcast and working with Lampa Dental Group, which is a new doctor owned and run DSO. So anyway, but I thought it was a kind of an intriguing question, because what is life after retirement? I can tell you one thing I and those of you that know me, know that I love dentistry and I have enjoyed my 42 years chairside very much and I still go up to the office and do a little bit, but what are the things that I’ve been I’ve noticed since since I retired and again, one of those things is I miss my, I miss my patients and I don’t necessarily miss the placing the implants, adjusting the bikes doing all that stuff. Although I enjoyed that. It’s it’s I did it for so long. I felt like it was time for me to be able to travel and not be tied to a schedule and having said that, what’s it like when you’re not tied to a schedule? Well, that can be it can be boring as hell I can, I can tell you, you know, when you wake up, you know, the only day that I truly know is Sundays, because my wife and I go to church on Sunday, but the other days are just, they all blend together. You know, so Monday seemed like Saturday seemed like Wednesdays and I’m I wasn’t used to that. So after retirement, it really depends what you do after retirement on what you do when you’re practicing. So you set yourself up for for retirement, you set yourself up financially for retirement and we know that 95% of the dentists out there are not going to retire and be able to maintain their current lifestyle, which is kind of sad and so that’s really where Productive Dentist Academy can really help you grow your business, you know, build, build generational wealth, and really help take care of your retirement. So life after retirement really depends on how you’ve set yourself up but I don’t think that that was really the total question. I think the question was, what’s it like after you retire, Bruce? Well, I know a lot of my buddies you know, have retired now and those that don’t have something that interests them that they’re doing on a regular basis, really struggle because they tend to sit around and watch TV and do, do little chores around the house but they’ve led a fulfilling career in dentistry, helping people and they try to wonder okay, now now what do I do? I Um, I will tell you when I was 32 years old, 33 so about, I don’t know, 35 years ago, all I wanted to do was retire so I could play golf every day. I mean, that was, that was my goal, I just want to just retire and play golf every day. Unfortunately, my golf game now sucks. So, I’m not nearly as excited about playing golf every day, I do play probably once a week on average and I also get to travel to some really great places to play golf, but it’s not what I’m about, you know, it’s not, you know, you got to try to find that, you got to try to find what it is that, that, that gets you going, you know. I finally worked in our local politics, on the school board election and I found that to be very challenging and I realized that I’m not a very good politician, I kind of reverted back to my early days in practice of my way or the highway, and that doesn’t work well in the political realm but I ventured out into that, for our school board mom. So that was one thing that I’ve done. The other things that I’ve done is, you know, things that enjoy that my wife and I get to enjoy together, I can spend time now with grandkids, we’ve got 13 grandkids, and I honestly didn’t get to spend an enormous amount of time with my, my own children when they were little, because I was working that 40 hour a week, you know, that 40 hour week plus 30 hours, you know, the 70 hour week, and I just, I just thought I had to do that in order to set set things up and you guys have heard me talk about the stories previously of that’s probably not the best way to, to do things. So, but now, you know, we built a bunk house above my garage, it sleeps 18 kids, and probably more at tripping them, we could probably see like, 25 kids up there and they’ve got their x boxes, and they’ve got their foosball table and everything else and we can go up there and I get to play with them there. I get to go out in the back and the pool and take them out on the lake. So I’m getting to do those things that I really wasn’t able to do. My, my kids call and they say, “Dad, what are you doing on the 18th through the 23rd of whatever month?” And I’m like, “Let’s look,” and I usually pull up Travelocity to to find out where I want to go because you can get stuck as a permanent babysitter. So I don’t really want you to, to end up that way unless you want to. I prefer I’m going to be leaving tomorrow for Italy for a month. We’ll be in Italy, Spain, Portugal, France. I don’t know what else, a few other countries but we’re just going to spend a month and travel and do fun stuff. When we get back, I guarantee you. Last week I went to three, three baseball games. Three football games, and soccer, volleyball and I don’t remember what else but you know, I love going to watch the kids. So that’s one thing in retirement, you can do things that you didn’t really have time to do before but the thing that I see is that people that don’t get involved in something, well, they die. They die quick and when you start to get to a certain age, you know, I retired when I was 63 but I started working only two days a week when I was 49. So I started my retirement early and enjoyed that and then the last four years, I’ve had no schedule. So I’ve been able to travel for multiple weeks and go do things that I wanted to do but you do need to, you know, I’ve had people say, “Man, I just want to read books.” You know, I’m gonna read all the books that I didn’t read and you know, that’s great and that’s something that I enjoy. I also enjoy reading and but after a while, you kind of get tired of reading. After a while you kind of get tired of playing golf. I enjoy seeing my buddies at the golf course. So that’s enjoyable, but is it fulfilling? I’ve talked about and we talked about rapport, most guys are in rapport their whole life. You know, I’ve got a few really close friends that I can share anything with, talk to and that type stuff but you know, need to find people like that, that you know, around your age share some of the same things that you share. We started a little group that, you know, I would call it the old men’s group that meet up for breakfast. So we meet up for breakfast. So you can just talk about current events, what’s going on the world stay active. I’ve had the opposite and I say I have the opportunity. Now I had the opportunity to before, to work out and exercise and to eat healthy but I was in such a hurry to do the things that I was doing and a lot of times I would kind of fall off the wagon. So I’ve been able to short a couple of injuries but I’ve been able to work out since I retired and I feel like I’m in the best health I’ve been in probably in 20 years. So these are things that, you know, I throw out there because you think, “Oh, I just want to hurry up and retire?” Well, I might suggest that you maybe hurry up and retire in practice at first, you know, get to where you’re producing X amount an hour, which allows you to actually make more money than you, than you were making but only working a couple of days a week and a lot of our Doc’s now have gone to three and a half days, three days, and we’ve got a couple that are moving towards two days just like I did because I really want you to enjoy your kids now but it gives you preparatory, it gives you preparation for that time where you finally to say, you know, “I’m going to hang up, I’m going to hang up the cleats and I’m not going to practice anymore.”

And I think that makes that transition a little bit easier. When you’re working four and a half days a week, and all of a sudden, one day you sell your practice and you’re doing nothing. I’ve had several friends that have really suffered, suffered with depression, suffering with anxiety of what to do and, you know, so it’s a good question. It’s different for everybody. I’m certain of that. But I’m just sharing kind of some of the things that I’ve noticed. My grandkids, you know, my daughter, Maggie said, “Dad, I think you’d like the grandkids more than you’d liked us.” I said, “What’s your point? I mean, it’s, I can feed them sugar and send them home with you.” So I mean, I’m getting to live my best life right now. Although I’ll be honest, I miss my patients, and I miss my team, I still go up there just to wander around the office and say hello to everybody, of which, you know, we’ve got new people up there that don’t know who I am and it’s kind of weird, but I do know that you need to have something in your life. Get active in church, get active with friends in church, and, you know, you know, celebrate, celebrate with people, you know, we’re, we’re going on this trip to Italy, we’re not just going by ourselves, we actually have eight team couples going with us, I planned the whole thing and I like planning and stuff like that. So I’ve been planning the whole trip and we’ve got dental friends that are going. I’ve got ditch digger friends that are going oil and gas people golfing buddies, and so we’re just going to be able to spend the time together and enjoy, enjoy each other’s company and really heavily have a wonderful time on this trip and when I come back, I know I’m gonna have to pay, pay the price and, and when I say pay the price, it’s an easy price to pay is spending a lot more time with the grandkids when we get back because they’re gonna miss us because they, you know, they’re used to coming over and we’re blessed that they live fairly close. I have a couple grandkids live up in Nantucket but I’ve also got to make some plans to go see them. So anyway, I hope this was an interesting podcast is just my thoughts about retirement but you know, my suggestion, retire in practice for a while and get used to it, that’s going to allow you to transition much easier into what I would call retirement but if you love doing study clubs, or if you love doing things like that, well keep that around, keep, maybe you want to educate, maybe you want to teach younger dentists mentor, you know, those are all things that you can do in retirement and anyway, thanks. Thanks again for listening to us. Tell your friends, that’s how that’s how word spreads about the Productive Dentist Podcast. and again, we were one of the top two podcasts in dentistry last year, one of the top three in dentistry last year, and that’s because of you guys. So thanks again and I’ll talk to you next week. Thank you for joining me for this episode of the Productive Dentist Podcast. If you found this episode helpful, make sure you subscribe, pass it along to a friend. Give us a like on iTunes and Spotify or drop me an email at podcast at Don’t forget to check out other podcasts from the Productive Dentist Academy of Join me again next week for another episode of the Productive Dentist Podcast.


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